We wonder. We sometimes doubt. We definitely question. Is it possible that what I think God is saying to me isn’t God, its me or my mind. How do we know? One answer is faith. And faith is the true test of our commitment to God, but Gods word is the way to truly know if what we are doing is of Christ. Over the last few weeks, I have prayed that His will be done through me in the opening of this academy. The love that I have for Christ has also created fear. Afraid that I will mess up God’s plan for this academy, for these boys. There is a lot on the line here. The souls, lives, eternity of 37 boys. That brings a bit of fear and with it a huge amount of thankfulness. He chose me for this amazing and tremendous role. I can’t do this. Not without giving it all to Him.
I wanted to share how God’s hand has reassured me that what is going on here is truly from Him. These are just a few stories….
Before we opened, we had tryouts. I was concerned that we wouldn’t have a big turnout for certain ages. Concerned because other boys would be on other teams in local cities, or that they wouldn’t want to be a part of an academy that was opened for 4 months, then closed for a year or a dozen other reasons. But the weeks before I prayed to God that He prepare the hearts of the boys, their parents and the community to bring in our doors, the boys that He wanted here. Well on Saturday at 6:00pm God blessed us with over 80+ boys who wanted to join the academy. God answered that prayer with a thundering roar of children’s voices excited to be Rinos.
The first day we opened, we help our Parents Night. We do this to get the permission from each parent that their child can join our mission. We also do it to get the commitments from the parents. There are times when we are going to have to have difficult conversations with some of these parents and they need to know what we are all about. Well that night God spoke to me, twice actually and in resounding ways he answered my prayers. As a mission you want the community to embrace what you are doing at your mission. You really just hope they don’t resent you and not allow their kids to join. Neutral is a good setting, a good expectation. I had been praying this prayer to God. Well after the meeting I opened it up for question and answers. Fully prepared to be peppered with all sorts of questions about me, the academy, the previous year and why we closed. Nope. 2 mothers spoke up to say Thank You!! Thank you bring their kids here and getting them out of the street. That they know this is a chance for their kids to grow up with a better life. Better prepared to be better men. Better prepared for the world as adults. WHAT!!??!! I was blown away. God’s hand grabbed my shoulder and said, “I will come through always”
Lastly as a mission you just want to make a difference in a life for the glory of God. Here our mission is to change the lives of boys in Travesia to make a long term change in the community built on the love of Christ. These boys are the future of Travesia so we invest in them. My prayers have been to allow the Holy Spirit to work through me to be a light for these boys. To be a guide to their salvation and to Jesus. To be a place that these boys could grow as men and grow Christ. One of the boys that made the team is Elkin. Elkin joined our varsity team this year. He does have a belief in God and it shows in his heart. In February of this year his mother suddenly died of a heart attack. His father had died when he was 6. He was living in Belize without family and all alone. He had no one there so he took a 6 hour boat ride from Belize to Travesia Honduras to live with his Aunt and Uncle. I don’t know them personally but from what information I have gotten, they are not the best people. So at 16 Elkin moved here. No friends, no foundation, no people to truly love him like Christ loves us. Elkin moved here in March. Elkin has a dream to play soccer in the United States for the MLS. It is his dream. It was his mother’s dream too. Elkin thought all of that was lost. Until he was walking in the village and saw a flyer, our flyer for tryouts to become a Rhino. Elkin says this about that moment, “I was alone here. Then I saw that flyer to be a Rino. I knew that this was God’s answer to my prayer of where do I go now. I knew that I was supposed to be here, now, for this.” God’s hand came upon my shoulder and I felt at home in my Lord’s grace.
This place is just a place. We are just people. The doors are doors and the soccer field is just a place with grass. It’s in the Lord that we hope to stay. In His grace, His understanding and His mercy.
It’s in God’s loving hand that we find joy.